Math without paper?! What?! It is a concept completely unheard of by math teachers and those around them. As teachers, we know math must be worked out and how can they do this without pencil and paper? Math in general is so difficult for students and finding innovative ways to help them at least keep the interest in trying to learn is a challenge to teachers. The difficulty in the subject alone is a challenge. But what if kids were able to work in math without the clutter of paper and the possibility to use something other than a pencil? Would students show an improvement because of the want to continue to learn and practice a subject they have allows given up on so quickly?
Now, with the onset of COVID-19, teachers and students are facing a world where teaching and learning will all be online for the time being. Being a math teacher, there is an instant overwhelming feeling of defeat. It is a proven fact that students must learn a concept on paper before beginning to use a calculator to complete. How do we as teachers know that our students are using the skills we are teaching without seeing their work? How do we see their work without paper? How do we get this paper of work? So many questions and concerns. Yes, students can try to show their work with a keyboard; however, they are left without having the symbols needed to work with. They are frustrated and tired at the amount of time it takes to try and type out. We have lost them by this point before we even began. There is a solution, electronic notebooks or Rocket Books!
Rocketbooks are reusable, cloud-connected note taking products that can take math to an entirely different playing field. Students will work their problems out I in their own handwriting to a cloud (digital) destination allowing the teacher to see their work! Even better, their books are used over and over by erasing your notebook pages with water to use again and again. Students will not only be using technology, which is their future, we as teachers will see their thinking processes, and errors to correct.
As a teacher of math for 12 years now, I have tried many times to go paperless with some success. I have my own data showing that students were more likely to complete and practice their work if they were given the opportunity to use technology. With this grant providing me the Rocketbooks, I will be able to track the percentage of students that showed growth, in not only math, but with their participation as well. The cost of these books are $36 per book and this grant could 27 books could be purchased. This is 27 students who are given way to digitally do math and have the want to continue. Math is already coming in last for most subject areas and student success. With the innovative way of completing work, it is my hope students can gain distance in this race.